10 ways to ensure your team stays unmotivated in the new year

An unmotivated team is a force to be reckoned with. As well as an individual’s productivity, the whole team can start to suffer, creating a hostile atmosphere. Plus, it increases issues with punctuality, absences, and a lack of focus, as well as increased stress on your other team members who try to pick up the slack. Over time, this can lead to a real divide in your team, and employees will start to feel under-appreciated and overworked. 

Want to know how to ensure your team stays unmotivated in the new year? Then we’re here with our 10 top tips to encourage a lack of motivation and team spirit in 2022! 


How to reduce employee motivation 


1. Don’t get to know your team

Totally avoid building any relationships with your team, both as individuals and as a team. Having a close and supportive relationship with your employees will keep them feeling valued and motivated, so avoid this. 

2. Lack of clarity and transparency 

You know that saying, employees don’t leave jobs, they leave managers? This tends to be down to a lack of transparency, respect, and support between employees. A manager impacts a considerable part of an employee’s role, so to ensure that your team is unmotivated, avoid being clear or transparent with your team. Ignore your teams’ suggestions or say that you’ll do something and then don’t. That’ll keep them unmotivated. 

3. Don’t encourage your team to do better or to have goals

Goals should be linked to time, measurability and realistic. But to encourage a lack of productivity and poor motivation, you should not demonstrate how your teams’ roles contribute to the bigger picture. 

4. Don’t offer any feedback

And when they do complete any goals, don’t check in with them or offer any constructive feedback. Plus, make the process of goal setting, performance reviews and feedback complicated, formal, and unclear. Don’t make it clear or easy for your team to boost their skills and get promoted. 

5. Ignore good work

That team member who frequently goes the extra mile, performs above expectations, and reflects your company values? Yeah, totally ignore their excellent work and wait for their goodwill to burn out. Oh! Also, never say thank you for their work. Let them know that it’s their job and that’s what you expect from them. That’ll keep them unmotivated and unproductive. 

6. Don’t acknowledge any challenges or difficulties

Project dragging on, short-staffed or resources tight? Don’t say anything; just leave your team to muddle through. It’s easy for employees to get demoralised when they feel stuck or don’t have the right tools for the job, so let this happen and you’ll have an unhappy team in no time! 

7. Encourage sterile workspaces

Workplaces with small touches like nice furniture, plants or artwork that brighten up the place or even a fully stocked kitchen are small tokens of appreciation that keep your employees wanting to show up every day to do their best work. So, scrap all of that. No team tea and coffee, no plants, no personal items allowed on desks. Keep the workspace sterile to encourage your team to dread coming to work. 

8. No promotions, no progression

Most employees will want the opportunity to progress in their roles, but if there’s a lack of progression available, they’ll be likely to lose motivation and interest in their current position and look for a new job. 

9. A strict working arrangement

If you’re in the office 8-6, then your team should be too, right? They’ll have to find other options for their care or out-of-work responsibilities. Don’t offer any flexibility, and you’ll lose your teams’ motivation. 

10. Underpay, over-demand

Fair compensation, benefits and expectations keep employees engaged and happy to work. Instead, have your team members doing the work of two or three people and don’t pay them the salary to reflect it. You’ll lose their motivation in no time! 

So, there you have it, our top 10 tips to lose your teams’ motivation, interest, and productivity! 

Obviously, we’re joking, and we do not recommend that you treat your team in this way at all. Your team is one of the most critical aspects of your company, and you rely on them to do the best for your customers. So, ensuring they’re motivated, happy and productive at work is vital for your company. 

The famous Simon Sinek quote is relevant here: happy employees ensure happy customers.

What causes your employees to lose motivation?

A lack of motivation isn’t always solely to do with staff’s working environment, however, it’s often caused by issues at work such as: 

  • A lack of confidence in management
  • Boredom at work 
  • An unmanageable workload
  • Hostile working environment
  • Lack of career progression or promotion
  • Feeling overworked and under-appreciated
  • Issues outside of work such as financial concerns, bereavement or illness in the family

How to recognise a lack of motivation in your team

By having a solid relationship with your team, both as individuals and as a whole, you’ll be able to notice some of the tell-tale signs of demotivation, such as: 

  • Frequently being late to work, or taking ages to get going once they get to work 
  • Change in mood, or being distant from their colleagues
  • Calling in sick more often
  • Lack of focus, or struggling to get through work as quickly 
  • Inappropriate or negative comments 
  • Lack of input into team meetings
  • They just seem constantly tired or checked out 

So, how to motivate your staff instead?

Do the exact opposite to our ten tips above. Encourage a strong relationship with your team, get to know them all personally, as well as the way they work together. Ensure they feel heard, respected, and like their contribution matters – because it does, your business can’t run without your team. 

At Lokava, we work closely with businesses to improve efficiency by solving issues through innovative software solutions. If you’d like to know more about how we can help your organisation, why not book your free consultation call today?


Why has cybercrime thrived during the pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic has truly changed the way that we work. Unfortunately, this has also been the case for cybercriminals who’ve had a busy and lucrative time during the pandemic. A new study conducted by cybercrime experts from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) and Flinders University has revealed that cybercrime has significantly increased during the pandemic. 

The study involved 12,000 Australians and discovered that one-third of the adult population had been victims of pure cybercrime in their lifetime. Additionally, a further 14% reported disruption to their network systems within the last year, indicating an increase in frequency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Occurring across the world, it appears many hackers and cybercriminals have taken advantage of a global pandemic and sought to capitalise on the shift to remote working.


What does cybercrime look like? 

Whilst cybercrime was an issue pre-pandemic, many of the threats have intensified due to opportunities that have arisen due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Cybercriminals have been able to ransom millions of dollars from businesses and individuals during the pandemic, using tried and tested scams such as:

  • online scams and phishing 
  • disruptive malware (such as ransomware)
  • data harvesting malware
  • malicious domains
  • fake news

A pandemic of online crime

According to the study by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) and Flinders University, only a tiny fraction of the financial losses are recovered by the victims of cybercrimes. Additionally, the study indicated that roughly 2.8 million Australians had fallen victim to cybercrime during the pandemic.

The experts believe that Covid-19-related economic disruptions have created the ideal conditions for opportunistic cybercriminals to take advantage. According to the study,  Cybercrime has cost Australia’s public, government and businesses an estimated $3bn

What is pure cybercrime?

Pure cybercrime is the term for criminal activities against computer networks such as hacking, releasing viruses and malware, and distributed denial-of-service attacks. Utilising technology, cyber-enabled crimes make traditional crimes such as stalking, identity theft and fraud far easier to commit with fewer chances of being caught. 

Russel Smith, a professor at Flinders University, said: 

“Pure cybercrime is a highly profitable criminal activity and results in substantial financial losses to Australians. On current information, as cybercriminals become more sophisticated, it’s clear the need for additional expenditure on prevention will need to increase.”


What’s caused the increase in cybercrime? Working remotely and its risks

During the pandemic, the huge shift to remote employment has created a new target for cybercriminals due to many employees working from home and using their personal smartphones and computers. Working from home already doesn’t guarantee the same level of cybersecurity as an office environment. 

In addition, many small and medium-sized businesses have a ‘Bring Your Own’ approach to devices, meaning employees can use their own devices to access corporate information. Combine this with personal devices – which aren’t as secure as corporate networks – and users will find themselves more exposed to cyberattacks. 

Furthermore, the rise in remote work also saw more companies embracing cloud services, which then found themselves falling victim to cybercriminals. 

Those working in financial services, healthcare, public administration, and retail have been the most attractive targets to criminals. Financial service and insurance executives experienced the most significant rise in ransomware and phishing attempts in the past year. Health care organisations have also frequently been targeted by ‘misdelivery’ attacks, which fool victims into sending their data to fraudsters. 


Phishing attacks

Attacks such as phishing and ransomware that threaten to publish private data unless a ransom is paid have become increasingly popular. This is due to ransomware and hacking tools becoming commercialised and simplified over the last 18 months. 

This has meant that cybercriminals have no longer needed programming or coding skills to successfully commit a ransomware attack. 


Are businesses adequately prepared for cybersecurity risks? 

The pandemic and the need for remote working has created many challenges, especially for SME companies. They haven’t been prepared for the massive rise in sophisticated cyberattacks, and there needs to be a lot of progress made to raise awareness of the need for increased cybersecurity. 

In their haste to get staff set up and working remotely, some companies haven’t always made cybersecurity the priority that it needs to be. This may result in some companies not doing stringent checks into personal devices to ensure they’re equipped with security protections – before their employees access company data. Or they’re relying on VPNs to do a job that they’re not designed for. 

Companies can utilise security measures without being intrusive to their employee’s devices or privacy. For example, host checking validates specific requirements on personal devices before allowing access to corporate applications. 


Ways to protect yourself: How companies and employees can increase cybersecurity

There isn’t a simple solution to cybercrime, but we recommend a few simple steps to help reduce the risk of a data breach: 

  • Use antivirus protection
  • Cybersecurity awareness within the organisation
  • Phishing awareness and prevention training for staff
  • Home network security
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Identify weak spots within your organisation’s network
  • Undertake frequent reviews that evaluate your cybersecurity risk exposure 
  • Utilising hardware issued by the company instead of a Bring Your Own approach


What have we learnt from the pandemic and the rise in cybercrime?

We’ve all learnt a lot from the pandemic about ourselves and the way we work. The best way to successfully limit the risks of cyberattacks is to be adequately prepared. Companies and organisations with the ability to quickly react have found themselves able to reduce the impact of a cyberattack. 

Where possible, corporate-owned devices should be the standard for companies allowing remote access to confidential and sensitive data. However, where corporate data can be accessed from a personal device, cybersecurity should be assessed to minimise the risks. 

The sad reality is that companies need to be prepared for the ‘when’, not ‘if’ they get attacked and recognise the impact of a data breach or ransomware can be devastating. With this in mind, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of a cyberattack and the damage caused. But this will require a cyber strategy and planning, with investigation into remote working practices to ensure compliance with optimal security measures. 

At Lokava, we work closely with businesses to improve efficiency by solving issues through innovative software solutions. If you’d like to know more about how we can help your organisation, why not book your free consultation call today?


Fatigue management in the workplace: The Lifeflight Fatigue Tracker App

The diversity in our work is one of the things we enjoy most at Lokava. Every client and every project we undertake is vastly different, which means that whenever we begin a new mission, we gain the opportunity to absorb a lot of new knowledge around industries we might not otherwise have had an insight into previously. And naturally, working in such a hands-on manner with our clients, it’s impossible not to become invested in their goals.

Out of the many successful projects we’ve undertaken for clients, one of the many we’re very proud to have worked on is for LifeFlight Australia, a world leader in aeromedical care; that is, emergency services provided by helicopters or aeroplanes. For residents of Queensland, round the clock care is offered, regardless of where you live within the state. As a world leader in aeromedical care, LifeFlight’s round-the-clock effort in saving lives is nothing short of extraordinary.

For over four decades, the lives of Queensland residents have been saved thanks to LifeFlight’s bold response to emergencies. Being able to take to the air means response times are incredibly fast, and areas that may otherwise have been inaccessible can be reached. Staff training is comprehensive and intense, so any situation can be reacted to and adapted to on the fly. Dangerous situations are common, although for the experienced LifeFlight team, it’s all in a day’s work.

Lokava first came into contact with LifeFlight when they approached us in late 2018 with a special request. The nature of emergency medical services means that many staff end up working long hours, and burnout can come on quickly without careful staff management. LifeFlight needed us to develop them an app that would streamline this process: a comprehensive fatigue management system, built from the ground up.


Why is fatigue management important?

If staff fatigue isn’t handled well by senior management, burnout can occur. When people are stretched too far in their roles, working back-to-back shifts and losing out on sleep, there’s no limit to the potential negative effects. For the staff members themselves, this might mean a decline in physical health – sleep is restorative for our bodies – and serious harm to mental health, too. Without adequate rest, mental health problems such as anxiety and depression can spiral out of control. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Staff who are overexerted and running on fumes can mean a potentially severe impact of the wellbeing of emergency patients. This might stem from complications due to slowed response times, missed details, or the inability to provide adequate care. In short, when people’s lives are hanging in the balance, having an exhausted, burned-out team in charge of those lives can be strongly detrimental. Therefore, the app LifeFlight had called on Lokava to build was of utmost importance – and we couldn’t wait to get involved and help in making a positive difference.


How did we approach the problem?

After many in-depth talks with the team at LifeFlight, our proposed solution was to create a custom-made app for the company’s medical team to use via their mobile phones. Reporting in the app would be handled by a web-based system. The app would work by using data on staff member’s sleep, input by users. This information would then be used to perform a calculation on how fatigue would likely progress and impact the individual over the course of the next 24 hours.

This would mean that management within LifeFlight would have a clear view of which employees were likely to be more tired on any given day, and could plan shift patterns and staffing accordingly. The reporting functionality through the web-based backend of the app would be able to accurately interpret the user information entered, and could be thereby exported for closer analysis.

A key aspect of the app was its design: it had to be simple and clear. This was crucial for two reasons: to avoid taking up time from any given staff member’s day, and to prevent the incorrect entry of data – which of course, may have led to serious repercussions further down the line. In addition, to make the login process smooth and easy, we proposed using Microsoft Azure AD sign in, which would allow doctors and other staff members to log in to the app using their company email address and password, to keep things simple and streamlined.


The outcome

We first built a smaller-scale version of the app as a prototype, and when running early tests, we experienced very promising results. We took into account feedback from our early test group and added minor updates to the code as and when required. Several months later, the LifeFlight Fatigue Tracker app was finally ready to be rolled out to the rest of the organisation’s staff.

Since we first deployed the app and instructed the LifeFlight team how to use it effectively, it has become an integral part of the day to day business. Today, it helps keep medical staff operating all over Queensland to stay sharp, healthy, and happy – both on the job, and at home. In turn, this means that the patients treated by LifeFlight have access to the best care possible. If you’re interested in learning more about the software specifically, you can refer to our case study here.


An important addition during the pandemic

Since the beginning of 2020, doctors and medical staff have been run off their feet, all around the world. Reliance on emergency medical services has shot up in many countries and organisations like LifeFlight have been working hard to keep up. With apps like the one we’ve developed for LifeFlight, it is increasingly possible for lives to continue to be saved, and for optimum care to be provided, time and time again.

There will always be a need for innovative emergency care for organisations such as LifeFlight. Now, with effective fatigue management technology available to their entire workforce, they’re able to leave burnout in the past, and focus on saving lives.


How a brilliant, personalised CRM system will help grow your business

It doesn’t matter how revolutionary your products or services are, a business won’t get far without customers – engaged, loyal, satisfied customers at that. You can have a useful and innovative product, a slicker-than-your-average website, and present inspiring talks to audiences around the world, but without an efficient, powerful CRM system, your business will forever struggle to retain customers, and in turn, gain new ones.

In 2021, managing interactions with customers has never been so important, and nor has it been so complex. With so many avenues to choose from in terms of communication, it can be jarring at the outset. There are many pre-built CRM systems out there, all claiming to be your company’s only hope at maintaining excellent customer relationships. And of course, some of them will work. Some will even work well. However, if you want your company to flourish, the best option is to have a CRM system built specifically to your company’s needs.

Now, before we get into ‘Why’, let’s start with ‘What’.


What is a CRM system, exactly?

CRM stands for customer relationship management. It refers to the various methods by which companies communicate with customers, whether that be for the purpose of driving sales, marketing, or keeping relations positive. These methods of contact typically use data analysis to spot trends and communicate with large numbers of customers at once, through tactics such as email campaigns. Once upon a time, CRM systems were complex and unwieldy and difficult to learn. As time has gone by, however, they’re growing increasingly potent and are far simpler to master.

By collecting, organising, managing and interpreting all of your customers’ data, a strong CRM system allows you to follow the buyer journey of each customer individually, to assess which parts of your marketing and outreach campaigns are the most successful, and which parts of your strategy need work. All of this can then be used to improve your customers’ experience, as well as the likelihood of them using your company.


What are the benefits of a CRM system built from the ground up?

A CRM system built specifically for your business brings with it many benefits, as well as dodging certain pitfalls that may be associated with more generic, one-size-fits-all CRM systems.


1 – Measure the metrics you want

Every company has wildly different metrics to monitor, and the benefit of a purpose-built CRM is that you can pick and choose precisely which metrics to look at. This can not only save time, but can help to ensure nothing goes under the radar.


2 – Streamline your data

Just as you can set the metrics you do want, with a personalised CRM system you can also choose which metrics you don’t want. With an overload of information, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed and focused on metrics which don’t matter to your vision overall. By selecting solely the information that you need, you can streamline your goals, save precious time, and focus more readily on what really matters: keeping your customers happy.


3 – Lower costs

The retainer costs of using a pre-built CRM system can, in the long run, be far higher than the one-off payment for having your own CRM system custom-made. Plus, if there are any issues with your custom-built system, you’ll be able to train staff up so they can make edits as necessary, rather than being forced to wait for a response from a remote IT team. 


4 – Increased flexibility

Many pre-built CRM systems are built within a rigid framework; one your business must exist within. When running your own custom-made CRM system, there is no task too great or too small; any request you have can be put into operation, whether it’s for new metrics and parameters or a decluttered interface. When creating your own CRM system, you’ll work closely with experts to design your ideal tool – one that puts all the information regarding your customers, plus the means of replying to certain numbers of them – all in one place.


5 – Custom Reports

When using a CRM system that wasn’t created specifically for your business, you’ll be using a one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to reporting. It’s common for businesses using pre-built CRM systems to experience difficulties and large costs when attempting to retrieve custom reports. When you have had a say in every step of the way to creating your own CRM system, however, reporting is simple, quick, and can hit every criteria you need with minimal fuss.


Case Study: Vitality Club

Lokava was approached by Vitality Club, a healthcare company based in Sydney. They were already aware of the benefits of having an effective CRM solution for their business, however they’d originally opted for a well-known off-the-shelf option. They listed the downsides of this as it being expensive long term, as well as a lack of flexibility within the tool itself, and an inability to make amendments to reporting options. Alongside the fact that customisation was very limited with their CRM system, it was clear they would benefit from something a little more bespoke, particularly as their company was growing. They engaged Lokava on an exploratory project to deliver a CRM design prototype.

The first part of the process was for Lokava to have a succession of conversations with Vitality Club about their exact needs and visions for their ideal CRM system. Over several months, this helped us get a clear picture of the processes that already existed, as well as ones that it would be beneficial to create and integrate. This was a deep dive into the existing end to end processes at the company and what could potentially be changed to achieve a better outcome. 

Once these requirements gathering discussions were completed the Lokava team spent several months creating the CRM design prototype. This was an interactive process where online tools were used to share and seek feedback on designs. Further in-person meetings took place as well to discuss elements of the designs as well as the underlying processes in greater detail. Ultimately Lokava was able to present a fully realised design prototype, one that provided Vitality Club with proof of what a custom CRM could do for their organisation.


The bottom line

A sleek, user-friendly customer relationship management system can save your company thousands of hours, and help you maintain your existing customer base while reaching out to new ones based on existing trends. A custom-built CRM does all this and more: it gives you full control, and a much deeper insight into your customers and how they browse and buy. Furthermore, you will be able to customise your reporting and analytics to an extent that would most likely be cost prohibitive in many cases with an off the shelf CRM. 

If you’d like to talk further about what a custom-made customer relationship management system can do for your company, get in touch today, and let’s chat!


How a cloud-based job management system will save your business time (and money)

If you’ve worked in an office in any time over the last ten years or so, chances are you’ve used cloud computing at some point – whether you knew it or not. We’ve all heard talk of ‘the cloud’ before, but it’s not always entirely clear what exactly people are referring to. A storage system? A method of collaborating? A data-sharing service? 

In this article, we’ll explain precisely what cloud computing is, and how a cloud-based job management system can save your business time (and money). 

What is ‘the cloud’?

This ever-so-slightly ominous sounding term has been around since the mid-nineties, but only in recent years has it entered common usage. Cloud computing refers to servers accessed through the internet, and the various forms of software that operate on said servers. 

In even simpler terms, cloud technology means many computers (or other electronic devices, for that matter) can access the same stored information via the internet, as opposed to having to constantly send over individual files saved to individual computers. 

To simplify even further… The cloud makes everything easier. 


Okay… so what’s a cloud-based job management system?

A cloud-based job management system is, quite simply, software that allows you to collaborate with colleagues using cloud computing. What exactly this will look like in practice will vary from business to business and scale up or down with the size and needs of the company it’s designed for. 

In a medium-sized business, for example, a cloud-based project management system would have features that allow for multiple colleagues to work on the same project at once, even while working remotely. This could be in the form of shared documents, calendars, schedules, and learning and development tools.  


How can a cloud-based job management system help your business?

There are a bunch of ways cloud-based job management systems can help you save time, cut down on costs, and collaborate more effectively as a team. We implemented one such system for our client Markwater Plumbing: where previously they managed all incoming jobs and work updates over the phone, email and spreadsheets, the cloud-based job management system we created for them allowed off-site staff to get live updates on jobs, check details for the tasks they’d taken on, and view comments from colleagues about specific jobs in order to keep everybody informed and on track.

Now, let’s take a look at the most important ways the cloud can help your business. 


Benefits of using cloud-based job management systems


1 – They allow you to access anything, anywhere

In 2020 and 2021, more people than ever before in human history have been working from home, and working remotely. Utilising the cloud to create a job management system means all your employees, wherever they are in the world, will have access to whatever files you need them to access, instantly. It transcends platforms too, so whether you’re a PC, Mac or Linux kind of user, collaboration is never more than a couple of clicks away. 


2 – They’re great value

Setting up your own cloud-based project management system can help save you a lot of money in the long term. With all your data being stored on the cloud’s servers, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on purchasing your own storage or buying servers. 

Furthermore, most cloud-based management systems offer strong customer support which can help keep your costs down without having to worry about managing and supporting your own servers. 


3 – They’re simple to use

If you’ve used a computer in any shape or form previously (and if you’re reading this, you probably have) you’ll have no trouble getting started with a cloud-based management system. With the right cloud-based management system, you’ll spend less time sitting in repetitive training courses with your team, and more time collaborating, creating, and getting results. 


4 – They’re great for collaboration

Shared files, saved in one common area, can be updated by anybody given access, whether they’re working from home, in the office, or sipping a cocktail on a far-flung beach. This means your team can contribute efficiently and quickly, and will never be scuppered by people downloading a document and editing it independently until there are several different versions. When you’re all working in one central location, everybody is looking at the same version of any given document.


5 – They help prevent the loss of files

How many times have you begun a meeting and referenced a document or file, only to find it’s not quite where you left it? With a simple, powerful and effective cloud-based job management tool, it’s far easier to keep track of all your file paths, and these will be the same across each computer or device you work on. 

Every member of your team works in their own way, and if somebody is off sick one day or leaves the company, the file paths they’ve set up on their own laptop may be incomprehensible to others. When everything’s on the cloud, the order and layout of files is familiar to everyone, which means data is less likely to be misplaced, lost or deleted. 


Cloud-based job management systems save your company time (and money)

As the afore-mentioned Markwater Plumbing, a cloud-based job management system can save your company a lot of time and money that would otherwise have been lost trying to tie everything together and ensure your team is working from the same page. If you’ve got several different people working on a project, for example, and one of them prefers a clipboard, one likes post-it notes, one likes a whiteboard and the other likes a spreadsheet, there’s going to be real difficulties when it comes to drawing everyone’s work together and hitting deadlines.

You’ll also find that by having larger projects broken into larger tasks and laid out step by step in a job management system, deadlines won’t get forgotten, and your staff stay motivated as they get a boost from each minor target hit. Centralising your team’s workload in this way can therefore lead to better team morale, and more ideas being generated.

If you’d like your very own cloud-based job management system designed bespoke to your company or additional functionality integrated into an existing cloud based system you are already utilising, get in touch with us at Lokava today!


7 tips on how to manage remote employees effectively

In some offices around the world, remote work was slowly becoming normalised even before COVID. However, for the majority of businesses office-based working was the standard, and the thought of an entire workforce contributing from the comfort of their own homes seemed a far-away dream. 

Now, of course, everything has changed, and it looks like things aren’t going back to the old way any time soon. This has raised a new conundrum for managers and business owners across the world: how to manage remote employees effectively?


Productivity and working from home

Over the past two years, there have been – for obvious reasons – a great amount of studies into the impact of working from home regarding both the productivity and happiness of the average worker. One such study, conducted in March 2021, found that a massive 83% of employees feel that being based in an office has no impact on their productivity, with 75% stating that working from home actually increases their productivity due to a lack of distractions.

Elsewhere, a Stanford study found a 13% boost to productivity when employees were based at home. This was attributed primarily to fewer sick days, fewer distractions, and shorter breaks. Interestingly, at the same time, participants reported an overall increase in job satisfaction.

Any quick Google search into working from home and productivity will find that there’s a positive correlation between the two. Despite this, remote employees still need effective management, or deadlines can be missed, and targets lost sight of. Below, we’re going to run you through some simple ways to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to managing your remote employees. 


How to manage remote employees


1 – Make sure your team has everything they need

Not everybody is lucky enough to have a well-equipped home working space. For some, a dining room table may have to suffice, or a coffee table. In order to keep your employees working at their best, set them up with anything they need to be comfortable and productive. This may be out of your hands, but you can help your employees out in nearly all other respects.

Are their laptop cameras up to standard for high-quality video calls? Do they have the necessary apps installed on their laptops, and access to all the files they need? Do they have access to the sort of ergonomic equipment that might usually be available in-office? Many companies attribute a small budget to each employee to enable them to make any purchases they need to get set up properly. It’s a good investment, with a large increase in productivity and happy employees as the reward! 


2 – Promote frequent communication

Things are different when you’re working remotely. No longer can you swivel round in your chair and fire a quick question at your colleague. Instead, messaging apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams or Google Chat are used to send quick messages back and forth. Decide which of these best suits your team’s working style, and encourage your team to use them whenever possible. 

Many lengthy video calls can often be reduced to emails, and many emails can usually be reduced to a quick few messages on an app.

Keeping an open dialogue between your management and your team is key to successful remote working, and ensures there’s no drop in collaboration between individuals and teams. 



3 – Trust your team

If you want your employees to work from home successfully, trusting them is the key to good management. Micro-managing and looming over their every digital move will breed general resentment, as your team begins to feel as though they’re not trusted, and therefore not genuinely valued within their roles. 

By allowing your employees the freedom to work from home without monitoring them too closely, you’ll in turn gain their loyalty. 


4 – Set clear objectives to maximise clarity

As we mentioned earlier, when working from home there’s no option of asking the person sitting beside you for their opinion or help. In order for this to work, clear objective setting is paramount. A vague description of a task over a hasty Zoom call isn’t enough; if your employees are going to remain productive when working remotely (and even boost their productivity), they have to know what their objectives are with total clarity.

When setting objectives, be it at the start of each working day or at the beginning of the month, make them clear, logical, objective and quantifiable. This way, everybody knows precisely what’s expected of them at the outset, and can work towards a common goal safe in that knowledge.


5 – Show recognition of a job well done

There’s so much lost in writing, compared to conversation. If your team is excelling and hitting targets, encourage more frequently than you would do in the office, to compensate for the fact that a ‘well done’ message doesn’t have quite the same impact as saying it face to face. 

Positive feedback not only makes your employees happier, but also serves to reinforce the behaviours you’d like to see more of. This may sound like simple stuff, but it’s surprisingly easy to forget when working far from your team. 



6 – Check in regularly

When working from home, many people can experience moments of isolation; logging off on a Friday evening doesn’t have the same giddy feel to it when you’re simply closing your laptop on the kitchen table, rather than bidding farewell to a buzzing office. Learning how to manage remote workers effectively means remembering to check in often, to ensure that, alongside targets being met, your team’s mental health is in tip-top shape. 



7 – Streamline employee management with an employee performance management tool

If you’re busy doing the above six bullet points, chances are you’ll be a little short on time. However, the seventh point in our list is here to save you: use a performance management tool. 

We have no small amount of experience in this ourselves; we recently helped a client, Note It, to develop a mobile/web based platform that would streamline the often complicated process of employee management. The platform we created (which you can read about in more detail here) smooths out dozens of otherwise time consuming processes at once. These include recording workplace behaviours and performance, enabling regular feedback, and establishing data-driven insights into your team’s overall output during their time spent working from home.

Ultimately, working from home is a chance for your employees to take further responsibility for their productivity, and work on their own terms. With trusting, effective management, there’s no reason your team’s productivity and happiness when working from home can’t be the highest it’s ever been. The power of technology allows now-remote teams to come together seamlessly in ways we never knew would be possible. 

If you’d like to discover how software can help streamline your business, reduce costs, increase revenue, gain actionable insights and engage customers better, drop us a message here for a free consultation.


How technology is changing remote learning for the better

The world is changing rapidly, and with it, remote learning and remote teaching are becoming a new and vital part of the lives of students at all ages.

A year and a half of uncertainty, coupled with a rapid need to adapt, has led to some huge changes in education. When the news first broke that learning would be moving online, the reaction of the average teacher was likely a sense of bewilderment. Because how could it possibly work? Teaching new skills to a class is a tough task in itself, never mind doing it through the pixelated lens of a webcam. However, over the past 16 months, it has turned out that remote learning is not only possible, but in many ways it’s genuinely improving the learning experience, both for teachers and students.


1 – Creating a newer, better business model

Over the course of the pandemic, many educational businesses have felt the need to take their business model online. As a result, many of them have managed to not only continue as normal during the last year, but have fared even better than usual. Of course, remote learning isn’t perfect – there are many creases to iron out still! – but below we’re going to take an optimistic look at all the ways in which remote students can benefit and thrive.


2 – Feedback is faster

For decades, the only way in which parents and teachers would ever interact is through parent-teacher evenings in school, which were only a couple of times a year (remember the nerves of being a child sitting at home, wondering what gossip was being shared?). The colossal change of the past year has totally reinvented the way parent-teacher contact is made.

In many schools in 2021, apps are used which allow parents and teachers to communicate far more freely. In some primary schools, for example, specially-designed learning apps allow teachers to share videos and images of their students beavering away in the classroom, or enjoying themselves on school trips. Parents can therefore closely follow the progress and behaviour of their children, and may even be able to witness a side of their child they’d not seen before.

This benefits not just parents and children, but educators too. Where once upon a time, the only way of getting information on a student’s behaviour to a parent was via a note (always at risk of being ‘misplaced’), today teachers can quickly and easily send a message directly to the parent, thereby ensuring it’s read and responded to.


3 – Students can find all learning resources in one place

Whether your student days are only a decade behind you or half a century, you’ll likely remember the days of stumbling home after a day’s learning with arms and a backpack brimming with workbooks, notepads and photocopied papers. And, of course, when it came to revision time, they were never quite where you left them.

Cloud based learning has come a long way in a very short time, to a point where now, businesses and schools alike can share vast amounts of information with large numbers of pupils spread all around the globe.


4 – You’ll spend less time on admin, and more on teaching and learning

There are some processes that don’t make sense to automate: for example, the act of teaching itself is always better with a human being than with an algorithm. However, algorithms set up to ease the admin behind remote teaching can free up a ton of invaluable time that can be spent on developing new, fun learning techniques and exercises.

In fact, a recent client of ours, Mesh Learning, had this very problem. See case study: Mesh Learning

Mesh Learning is a business offering tutoring to students up to Year 12, in a range of subjects. At the time Mesh Learning got in touch with us, they had been facing issues with learning software that was buggy and lacked important features.

We performed a thorough analysis, and set about repairing the bugs in the programme. From there, we implemented the features that were lacking in line with Mesh Learning’s requests: the ability to copy question sets, import student data easily, a maths editor function, and more.

As of July 2021, Mesh Learning has launched full remote learning capability. The previous iteration of their software was based all around iPads and face to face learning, however with our technical help, they have launched a fully integrated web application which offers even more options for learning and development.


5 – You can browse the best talent available

Whether you’re a teacher looking for students or a would-be student seeking a teacher, the move of education online opens up a world of opportunity. Just as remote working now means employers and employees can seek out the best of the best around the world, the arrival of remote learning means it’s possible for students to seek out teachers that are not necessarily based in the same location.

In fact, they could be based anywhere in the world. Demand for remote learning is skyrocketing all around the globe, and the remote learning market is purported to reach $370 billion by 2026. Whereas in decades gone by, if you’d wanted to learn French or how to play the piano, you’d have been severely limited by the teachers in your immediate area. Today, it’s completely feasible to learn to play Beethoven’s greatest hits remotely, instructed by a master of the craft who may be based in another city, country, or even continent.


6 – It’s enjoyable

Learning apps like Duolingo offer a learning experience that expertly taps into the reward centre of our brains. There’s something about those clean menus, simple module layouts and little green flashes when you get an answer correct that is just so satisfying.

For Millennials and Generation Z, who had largely been raised in a society obsessed with tech, this manner of learning is both second nature and highly gratifying. Just as notifications badges on social media generate little serotonin boosts and keep us coming back for more, the congratulatory beeps and green flashes of education apps can make learning feel like a positive and stimulating experience, particularly for students who may at times struggle with their concentration.


7 – Communication is more direct

Whether you’re teaching one to one or an entire remote classroom, remote learning has given students the means to express themselves to teachers in a way that they may not feel at ease doing in a classroom environment. Video calling apps with integrated messaging, such as Zoom, give pupils the opportunity to message their tutors directly with any questions they may have, rather than risking embarrassment by raising a hand in the middle of class.

In response to this, teachers are able to offer tailored support using a wider range of resources than might otherwise be possible – for example, by using videos, a range of articles, or various learning apps to try and explain a complicated issue in various, more interesting ways. After all, each of us learns differently and at different paces.


Technology and remote learning: The conclusion

It’s easy to debate whether remote learning should become the new ‘normal’ permanently, with some circumstances, and even certain subjects, more difficult to learn in a remote setting. For example, alongside remote learning (versus in-person learning) often comes a struggle with discipline, especially for schooling in younger children. When parents are working from home, it can be a constant juggle of homeschooling, remote learning and their own working life – which can make learning for younger children difficult to manage. Although children may be viewed as being more adaptable, at a young age, children can thrive from being in a busy, classroom environment.


However, there are always two sides to every coin. There are a ton of ways that remote learning and remote teaching is changing the way we learn and develop for the better. Many education businesses and schools are looking into ways of mixing in-person learning with remote learning, as a hybrid model designed to combine the best of both worlds. For adult learners, or students where in-person learning just isn’t an option, however, remote education can still be an immensely productive and gratifying experience.


At Lokava, we work closely with businesses to improve their efficiency and effectiveness by solving issues through innovative software solutions. If you’re an educator or education business and you’re ready to take your business model online, get in touch today and let’s talk through everything we can do for you – including all of the above, and much more!


Are Lack of Automated Processes Costing You Thousands of Dollars?

Well if you or your employees are spending large amounts of time performing low-value repetitive tasks daily, the short answer might be… YES!

The signs are often very clear.

  1. Do your manual tasks follow a simple pattern or formula?
  2. Are you repeatedly performing work that is NOT contributing to the growth of your business?
  3. Do you often find yourself engaging in tasks that are the same, day in and day out?
  4. Are you manually collecting and processing data? Eg: Mortgage brokers spend a significant amount of their time simply processing applications as opposed to high value tasks such as advising clients and generating new business.
  5. Do you get a niggling feeling that your primary responsibilities could easily be outsourced or automated?

If you found yourself nodding along and agreeing to most of these questions, there might be an opportunity for you and your business to save a great deal of money.

While not EVERY solution may come in the shape of software, we have found an increasing number of businesses can in fact greatly benefit from a simple software solution.


Is your business INEFFICIENT?

The best way to know where these inefficiencies exist is by going straight to the source.

Ask your employees:

  1. How are they currently allocating their time?
  2. How would they assign their tasks to the following 3 categories? High Value, Medium Value, Low Value.

If you find large portions of their time are being spent on low or medium value tasks, is there scope to automate them?

This could be the first step in building a more lean and efficient business while giving your staff the chance to work on growing your business to the next level.




Identifying Business Issues

Before you start thinking of a solution, you need to identify what the problem is.

Many business owners get caught up with the idea of implementing a miracle solution before truly understanding the issues currently being faced by their business.

Others tend to operate in a state of ignorance – hoping that things will improve without making the effort to take an introspective look at the current state of affairs and determine what is and isn’t working.

If you fall into either of these categories, don’t fret – there is a way out.

Not sure what is wrong with the business?

Being unsure of where problems lie can be a very scary place to be. Without knowing what is wrong, how can you fix it?

There are many issues that are commonly faced by businesses around the world. Some of these include:

  • Poor communication between staff.
  • Inefficient processes resulting in wasted time and money.
  • Lack of documented processes resulting in staff flying by the seat of their pants.
  • Lack of situational awareness resulting in a poor understanding of the ‘bigger picture.’
  • Not being objective when making decisions.
  • Using incorrect or outdated information to inform key business decisions.
  • Inadequate staff training or up-skilling.
  • Not keeping an eye on your competition.
  • Not engaging with and getting feedback from existing customers.


So how do you go about identifying the issues being faced by your business?


Identifying Current Issues

Identifying current issues being faced by your business can be a challenging process.

Here are a few tips to get you started:


1. Talk to your staff.

Interviewing staff members and asking them what they are struggling with day to day can prove to be quite illuminating.

You need to make sure you ask the right kinds of questions, e.g.

  • What tasks are you spending most of your time?
  • Are you regularly performing repetitive manual tasks?
  • What do you do when you’re unsure of how to handle something?
  • Do you understand the bigger implications of what you are working on?
  • During your daily workflow are there any ‘process blockers’ that you regularly encounter?

These questions will give you an insight into how your employees think and what issues they are encountering on a day to day basis.


2. Revisit existing processes

Taking a deeper look at current processes can quickly reveal flaws.

Often, businesses will have implemented processes and procedures without due consideration given to why something should work the way it does. In some cases a process was never really discussed or formalised – it just so happened that someone senior decided to do something a particular way and that was passed down to junior staff and so on.

Bad processes can create a dangerous cycle that needs to be broken quickly.

Ask your staff:

  • Why is this task being done in this particular way?
  • What is the expected outcome?
  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • Are there any common blockers to completing this task quickly and efficiently?
  • Can anything be removed from this process to achieve the same result?

Based on the answers you receive, you will have a much clearer understanding on how to alleviate any problems that are identified.


3. Talk to your customers

Taking some time to talk to your customers can do wonders for your business.

Many businesses overlook meaningful customer feedback – this feedback could relate to the sales/on-boarding process, ongoing support or general service delivery.

Getting a better understanding of how your customers are feeling in regards to the areas mentioned above can let you know whether there is a serious issue that has been overlooked.

While it can be tempting to quickly create a simple survey and send it out to all your clients, it’s only a good starting point. Getting your customers on the phone to discuss feedback in greater detail will often result in more meaningful learning and data being collected. Or better yet, go and meet them in person!


4. Look to the competition

Many businesses get so caught up with what they are doing that they often forget to look to one of the best learning resources available – their competitors.

The closest competitors in your space will often provide deep and profound insights on the marketplace. It’s very important to keep an eye on what your competition is doing. This includes things like:

  • Product Line
  • Pricing
  • Customer Service and Post Sales Support
  • Website and Marketing
  • Social Media

By observing the key players in your market using the metrics above, you can learn a wealth of knowledge about their approach use it to innovate and improve your own strategy and processes.


What’s Next?

Once you have a better idea of what might be going wrong with your business, you’ll be in a much better position to start looking for solutions.

A solution may come in the form of a small change to an existing process, using software to automate manual tasks that are wasting valuable employee time or taking on board customer feedback to change a key aspect of your service delivery.

Whatever the solution may be, it’s important to remember that you can’t fix something unless you know what is broken.